At first, glance, changing a motorcycle tire looks like a simple job. But when you’re on the side of the road, stranded, the situation can get pretty tricky.
The problem with changing a motorcycle tire is that the procedure can be time-consuming and very complicated. You need to do everything the right way to get things done. One of the most important parts of changing a motorcycle tire is to make sure that you have the right tools. If you don’t, you’re just wasting your time, and it’s going to be a frustrating experience for you. Fortunately, I’ve made a list of some of the tools you will need to use when changing a motorcycle tire, and I will explain how to use them later. So read on to learn about these tools and what they can do for you.
Six reasons to change your tires
1. A tire gets a hole in it.
Tires are strong and can take a lot of damage, but they can also puncture. If you get a flat tire due to a hole, you should get it fixed by a professional.
2. Thread wear limit has been reached
A tire’s wear limit is 2/32nds. Once your tire has reached the wear limit, it loses its grip and performance, especially on wet surfaces. It’s highly recommended that you replace the tire.
3. Signs of Aging
Predicting a tire’s lifespan is not easy. Many things can affect how long a tire lasts, like how it’s stored, used, how fast it goes, how it’s maintained and ridden, etc. As such, whether used or not, a tire will show signs of aging. At the most, a tire is useful within 5 years before it should show obvious signs of wear and tear. At this point, you need to examine your tire and have it replaced, even if it still looks good.
4. Damaged Tire
Things that can damage your tire are all over the road – blunt or sharp objects and potholes are some examples. Carefully examine the damage in your tire and have a professional look at it. Sure, there are ways to fix holes in your tire, but as a general rule, if a tire is punctured, it needs to be replaced.
5. Uneven wear pattern
An uneven wear pattern is often a sign of tire pressure, balance, or mechanical problems. The best way to prevent this is to check the motorcycle balance every six months. This results in a comfortable ride and prolonged tire life.
6. Wrong tires
Choosing the right tire for your vehicle not only optimizes your bike’s performance, but it’s also a legal requirement.
10 essential motorcycle tools you should have in your tool kit
It’s not surprising that motorcycle riders become passionate about their bikes. After all, you get to ride on the open road, and the freedom is exhilarating. But, as any passionate rider knows, there are many more aspects of motorcycling than simply the physical act of riding. Maintenance and ownership can bring a deeper appreciation of motorcycles.
If you’re into bikes, there’s a lot of value in investing in the right equipment. Investing in good tools can make life easier, and you won’t have to go to the dealership for your first repair. Just be sure to pick something you actually use.
You’ll find yourself in a position to add new tools to the toolbox as you learn new types of maintenance. At the beginning of your learning, focus on finding good resources that will help you build knowledge about a particular kind of maintenance task.
Here is a quick list of tools you need to replace a motorcycle tire:
- Tire Levers
- Rim Protectors
- Bead Breaker
- Valve Core Tool
- Tire pressure gauge (digital or analog)
- Air Compressor
How to Change a Motorcycle Tire (for first-timers)
Removing the tire
- Use the valve core tool to let all the air out. The force of the air coming out is pretty strong, so make sure you hold the device properly.
- Using a pen, draw an arrow at the end of the rim to mark the rotation.
- Remove the tire’s inner edge (bead) using the bead breaker tool. A bear breaker is a metal tool you insert between the wheel rim and the tire. When successful, you will hear a pop when the bead breaks loose. You have to loosen up all the edges (both sides). If the bead isn’t coming out, it means there’s still air in the tire.
- To help the tire bead come out, spray a silicone lubricant. Putting tire irons under the bead and pulling the tire away from the rim makes it easy for the timer to slip off. You need to remove both sides of the tire until it can slip off completely.
- Use two tire levels to pry the bead up, then slide it over the rim. These levers are long metal tabs. You push them under the bead and use them to pull the tire up. At this point, the rim becomes a fulcrum, allowing you to easily pop the tire up over it. Move around until the whole tire is above the rim. Be careful as this action can chip your rim.
- Break the bead and pry out the tire on one side to get the rim off of it. Make sure to do this on the other side to get rid of the wheel.
Installing the Tire
- Thoroughly spray a lubricant on the inside of the tire. The more slippery it is, the easier it is to work with.
- Place the new tire so its spin direction matches the mark you made.
- Attach one side of the tire to the rim, and then do the same for the other side. Use the tire irons to push it in. This time, the beat of the tire acts as the fulcrum. Repeat on the other side once done.
- Pump some air into the tire using the air pump. Do not inflate it fully. The goal is to hear a slight pop which indicates that the bead is popped in.
- Use a breeze tire tool to seal the tire bead into place. This tool will press the bead in, and you have to rotate the tire to get the beads on all sides.
- Pump some ceramic dust into the tire. This will keep the tire balanced and equalize some f the weight, balancing out any issues. This should be done before putting the valve stem back on.
- Return the valve stem by using the valve stem tool. Make sure to tighten it, so it doesn’t move.
- Use a tire compressor to inflate the tire to recommended pressure.
When doing any kind of maintenance, the most important thing to remember is to stay safe at all times. Be careful with tools and how you use them. Don’t work with tools you don’t know how to use. It’s essential to take your time and do your work very well.
I hope this tutorial helped you learn how to change a motorcycle tire. Good luck and happy riding!